The Point Arena Lighthouse stands as an iconic figure on the landscape of the American Pacific Coast. No other lighthouse offers such a fully interactive experience in the exchange between history, science and natural beauty. Sometimes brilliantly sunny, other times fog-shrouded and mysterious, always ruggedly beautiful, the lighthouse is a place to find something different, a place where the romance is real and the experience is profound. Surrounded by water on three sides, and shouldered adjacent to the Point Arena-Stornetta Unit of the California Coastal National Monument, the Point Arena Lighthouse is the premiere visitor destination in Mendocino County. It is also one of the best whale watching spots on the North Coast, with the annual Gray Whale migration from late November through May, Humpbacks throughout the year, the occasional pod of transient Killer Whales and even Blue Whales. Watch for the spouts, tails and breaches from the top of the Tower and from the trails and gazebo. With nightly lodging and tours of the lighthouse offered daily, what will you discover on your next visit?
Our Mission Statement
To maintain in perpetuity, the historic Point Arena Light Station – including the 23 coastal acres it encompasses, its 115 ft. Lighthouse Tower and its 1896 Fog Signal Building – for the inspiration, education and the enjoyment of all generations to come.
The Reason The Light Will Always Be On
Visitors often ask “why do we still have lighthouses in this day and age of GPS, satellite navigation, maritime electronics and the like?” The best answer we can give is this amazing voicemail we received in March 2017 from a long time mariner that got home safely because of our light. We will ALWAYS have the light shining brightly – we’re a Lighthouse and that’s why we’re here!
Please join us as we kick off our celebration of the 150th Anniversary of the Point Arena Light Station #496 lighting the way on the Mendocino coast! Our 150th Anniversary Fundraising Dinner & Auction on Saturday, September 28, 2019 at the Gualala Community Center starts a year long celebration of this milestone in the Light Station’s history. Admission is $50 per person and includes appetizers, dinner, dessert and soft drinks. Beer and wine will be available for purchase. Tickets can be purchased in the Lighthouse Gift Store, Four-Eyed Frog Books in Gualala or online from Brown Paper Tickets. Only 100 tickets will be sold so buy yours today!
It was September 30, 1869 when Point Arena Light Station #496 was formally established by the United States Lighthouse Service and construction began, setting the stage for the rich history to come. The 150th Anniversary Fundraising Dinner & Auction will celebrate this memorable occasion (albeit two days early!) with a delicious dinner and silent auction that will offer a delightful and diverse assembly of auction lots donated by local businesses, artists and patrons, and hotels, inns, restaurants and other businesses in the San Francisco Bay Area. The evening will start with appetizers to enjoy while you peruse the auction lots and make your winning bids, followed by BBQ tri-tip and chicken cooked to perfection by grill master extraordinaire Bob Shimon. Dinner will include a vegetarian main course option, green, pasta and potato salads, baked beans and bread. A wide variety of desserts will follow, and soft drinks, coffee and water will be included. The no-host bar will offer several beer options and a selection of white, red and blush wines. The night will culminate with the announcement of the winning bids for the fantastic auction lots.
A big Lighthouse Thank You to Surf Market for donating the food for the dinner, Gualala Supermarket for donating drinks, wine and beer and the many local and Bay Area businesses and artists that are contributing to the auction.
Important Update On Our Next Lecture
Our Saturday, September 21 lecture by Nik Epanchin on “Point Arena Light Station Renovation 2008-2010” has been cancelled due to a scheduling conflict. However, our Lecture Series Coordinator Kitty Wolfe was able to get local naturalist Doug Forsell lined up to replace Nik.
On Saturday, September 21 at 4 p.m. local naturalist Doug Forsell will present “Birds and Mammals of the Eastern Aleutian Islands, or why Tufted Puffins are the Coolest Seabirds” as part of the Lighthouse Lecture Series. Admission is $5 and the lecture will be presented in the Fog Signal Building at 45500 Lighthouse Road, Point Arena.
Doug spent the summers of 1980 and 1981 as part of a team of four biologists surveying the Eastern Aleutian Islands by Zodiac inflatable boats. Our mission was to accurately estimate the distribution and abundance of nesting seabirds to prioritize acquisition of islands for incorporation into the Aleutian Islands National Wildlife Refuge, and to identify important seabird colonies so the areas surrounding them could be excluded from planned offshore oil leases. They estimated almost 2 million seabirds nested there, including three of the four largest colonies of tufted puffins and probably over one third of the world population.
This talk is not just about the incredible wildlife and scenery of the Aleutians, but also how we estimate seabird numbers, the trials and tribulations of working in a very inhospitable environment, and the secret nightlife of tufted puffins.
SFGATE puts the Keeper’s Apartment on its Top 10 Unique Vacation Rentals in the West!
SFGATE, the internet site of the San Francisco Chronicle, featured the Point Arena Lighthouse’s Keeper’s Apartment in its list of Top 10 Unique Vacation Rentals in the West. Check out ALL of our unique vacation cottages and come stay at the Lighthouse!
Luxury Lodging Comes to the Lighthouse Vacation Rentals!
The renovation of Assistant Keeper’s House 4 is complete, and this oceanfront showplace is now available for vacation rentals! This completely reimagined 3 bedroom, 2 bath home features gourmet chef’s kitchen, beautifully furnished living and dining rooms, custom tile baths, designer furniture and linens in all bedrooms, unique art and decorative features and more. Check out the “Over the Top” review on TripAdvisor from our first guests and the “Awesome Accomodations” review from a repeat guest! Call the Lighthouse at 877-725-4448 ext. 1 or 707-882-2809 ext. 1 for reservations, or make your reservations online.